A Wrinkle In Time - Madeleine L'Engle

8:07:00 AM





A Wrinkle In Time is an old book. And old book with which I only recently came into contact with(my family not being the type to gift books on birthdays). And it’s fantasy.And a children’s book. All the more reason to love it!

The one major challenge that fantasy fiction writers have to face is making sure that their story always connects with the readers...too much reality and it’s not fantasy any more  And too much imagination and it’d probably sound like one of my dreams...over the top crazy.
But Madeleine L'Engle (fantastically fitting name for a fantasy writer no?!) manages to mix moral values with enough science fiction and fun to make this a really good read.
Now for the story,
Meg Murry (myopic, occasionally stubborn) daughter of a missing scientist is a general outcast at school(with some mocking kids and dumb teachers...you know how they look from a persecuted child’s viewpoint, which was surprising since the book is in third person).But she’s not alone, she has a younger brother, Charles Wallace(he’s called Charles only occasionally) who’s a social outcast as well...most people think that the two of them are dumb but it turns out they're actually geniuses.
She also has a beautiful scientist mother and a set of twin siblings who are pretty socially successful (and hence, uninteresting and unimportant to the story).
Meg is great at math and Charles Wallace can read minds (this stuff is not stated in a clear-cut way...but then nothing in the whole book is. Much like the foggy Mrs Which)
Speaking of whom, Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, Mrs Which (haha...witch) are three beings disguised as humans from another world whom Charles Wallace befriends.
And on a dark stormy night (the first worlds of the novel... ain't that great!), the trio whisks them away along with Calvin(school star and proposed romantic angle) to find their lost father without much preamble.
Thus begins the science fiction segment of the story with the planet-hopping and tessering (the fifth dimension after time...much like apparating, only between different worlds and much more painful)
According to the trio, Meg’s father is off fighting Evil (or the Black Thing or the IT...different names, same meaning...you choose) like many other great men before. This evil is a terrible shadow that overtakes people’s minds in the guise of offering them freedom. Freedom from thinking. Freedom from making any decisions. And thus turning everyone into mindless drones (simultaneous movements, illusion-food...basically a boring lifestyle).
The kids are tessered into the IT’s central centre ... Where Charles Wallace is captured when he opposes the IT (which turns out to be a giant brain...Harry Potter déjà vu anyone??)...and thus begins the final battle...
Do they find their father?
Does Charles Wallace stay alive?
Does everything get back to normal?
Do they manage to destroy the IT (I first thought this stood for Information Technology...you know in the Technology-is-evil way)
You have to read A Wrinkle in Time to find out.
There are some lovely quotes( a lot of them quoted from other books and people) in the book which make up for some of the fuzziness (or possibly I was being impatient).

I do not know everything; still many things I understand.

If you aren't unhappy sometimes you don’t know how to be happy.

But in the end,it's a nice read. You’ll want to give this to your geeky nieces or nephew as a birthday gift (and then read it yourself when you visit them later!).
The only complaint I have is the lack of humour, I'm not calling it a serious saga but there were some potentially funny moments which could have been.

A three point fiver(but for a kid...a definite 5)!

(I shifted the specifications here so that the review-snippet seen on the home-page is from the actual review and not just the specs)
Book Specifications:
Original Title A Wrinkle in Time
Author Madeleine L’Engle
Published 1973 by Yearling (first published 1962)
ISBN 0440498058 (ISBN13: 9780440498056)
Literary Awards Newbery Medal (1963), Sequoyah Book Award (1965)
Series Time #1
Paperback, 238 pages


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  1. Sounds a very interesting read :) Very lovely cover design too, and if you say a child might rate it a 5, I think I might too ;) I jump into my imagination when I read children's books and fantasy fictions. Makes the story come alive then, don't u feel, Tal? :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't know about you reading like a kid but I do know your reviews are lively at any rate!:)

    ReplyDelete

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